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F1 Manager 24 reveals new features and launch date

Frontier's management sim sees new improvements and gameplay for 2024

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Ahead of its release, F1 Manager 24 revealed new features to engage and challenge gamers.

F1 Manager launches a series of new features for this year (Image Credit: F1 Manager 24)
F1 Manager launches a series of new features for this year (Image Credit: F1 Manager 24)

FormulaNerds was granted an early preview of F1 Manager 24 as Frontier seeks to carve out an identity for its F1 management franchise. The inclusion of an “easy mode” after the launch of 2023’s game suggested that the simulator may have become too difficult for some.

For 2024, Frontier has added more features to combat EA’s team management expansion in its game last year. These new features look set to enhance the experience and challenge gamers.

Our preview lasted ninety minutes, exploring the game’s key new features and explaining Frontier’s reasoning behind them. So, what’s new for 2024’s edition of F1 Manager? 

Create a Team and drivers
The new Create a Team customisation options (Image Credit: F1 Manager 24)

The biggest new mode for 2024 is Create a Team. This massive expansion allows players to replicate EA’s F1 offering. Gamers can assign key personnel and choose different levels of difficulty in terms of team competitiveness. This comes from setting a starting balance (within the cost cap, of course) of between £ 30 million and £50 million.

Players can then decide how advanced their new team’s facilities will be and, crucially, car performance. This gives players a relatively easy ride or the choice to put in hard graft to work their team up the grid.

The next and arguably most exciting part of this feature is the customisation of the car. Frontier gives players many different options to create an identity.  It is on par with what EA offers in its games but has a finer level of detail. While the traditional preset liveries exist like in EA’s game, Frontier gives options for the colours, patterns and team logos.

All have extensive levels of customisation, including options for animals such as sharks, giving millennial players and fans of Eddie Jordan’s eponymous team to create their own version of the famous viper that adorned the iconic yellow cars in the 1990s.

The next step in setting up a team is choosing your sponsors. Frontier has raised the stakes this year, with each sponsor having individual requirements for their lucrative payout. Failure to do so will impact not just your bottom line but also aspects such as your staff performance.

Ask for the big money if you want, but be prepared to put it where your mouth is. Seeing how this plays out when the game is launched will be interesting. How quickly can players recover should the team enter a bad run of form caused by driver mistakes or falling victim to a hit by a rival in a race?

Affiliate driver and Mentality Hub
The detailed new Mentality Hub (Image Credit: F1 Manager 24)
The detailed new Mentality Hub (Image Credit: F1 Manager 24)

Two new features for 2024 will be shared across both the regular management mode and Create a Team. Affiliate Drivers is the first, an expansion of the third driver functionality from 2023. Players can now choose up to ten drivers for the team, all of whom can be called upon to drive during a race weekend.

If not put into a car, they will train using the simulator. This gives players a chance to live through the current real-life dilemma of where to place young Andrea Kimi Antonelli. Is a placement year at Williams best before moving to Mercedes? Or do you put him in a reserve role to gain experience to counter the risks of mistakes?

The second feature to be shared across the game is the new Mentality Hub, a new factor for players to add to their skill set. It governs how motivated and happy your staff are in their roles. This will, of course, impact team performance on and off the track.

Navigating this will require careful planning, as favouritism to one driver will drag the other’s motivation down, affecting overall team performance and morale. Failure to move up the grid will also impact the team’s mentality, causing potential problems down the line.

But it’s driver mentality that could have the spiciest impact here. Driver mentality is split into three sections: Personal Situation, Team Performance, and Team Principal. All are affected race by race, so a driver could be delighted by their team’s performance but have a less than satisfactory view of your managerial skills. Gamers will need to think carefully on how to manage potentially polarising driver situations.

Mechanical Failures
Cars will now fail during races if pushed too hard (Image Credit: F1 Manager 24)
Cars will now fail during races if pushed too hard (Image Credit: F1 Manager 24)

The introduction of mechanical failures adds a new element to race gameplay. This works alongside crashes and driver mistakes featured in last year’s game.

In our demo, we were given the scenario of playing as Red Bull, managing a deteriorating power unit, to occur at a random point. Both drivers suffered issues, with Max Verstappen developing an overheating power unit while Sergio Perez developed a gearbox problem. Both required management to the finish, the target to achieve P3 at the chequered flag.

FormulaNerds sadly failed this scenario not once but twice. P5 was the best we could get from Verstappen, while Perez finished way down the lower order on both attempts. Frontier told us this was a particular and challenging scenario designed to test players.

Failures on a normal race weekend will result from excessive wear and will not be random. However, it is also worth noting that Verstappen uncharacteristically spun during our first attempt at the scenario as the driver mistake algorithm kicked in. This made an already challenging issue borderline impossible.

To successfully manage issues in a normal scenario, players can navigate to their powertrain tab during a race to monitor the risk of the engine, ERS, and gearbox. If the risk is high, the tactics section provides the solution. Instructing the driver to drop back from the car behind and run in clean air and keeping off high kerbs will slow the degradation issues. In turn, this will get your cars to the end of the race.

Challenge ahead for players.
The new Affiliate Driver menu for 2024 (Image Credit: F1 Manager 24)
The new Affiliate Driver menu for 2024 (Image Credit: F1 Manager 24)

Frontier has opted to raise the stakes for F1 Manager 24. The introduction of Create a Team is a welcome addition to the game. We will need the full version of the game to be released to understand its potential and challenges. The initial indications are it equals and enhances the current My Team offering from EA’s 2023 game.

The major challenge will come from introducing the Mentality Hub and mechanical failures. Combined with driver accidents and confidence, the latter can create scenarios that will push gamers to think outside the box.

F1 Manager 2024 launches on July 23 on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

 

Feature Image Credit: F1 Manager 24

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